These are four words that Jesus said to his Father, that reveal the starting place for every thought he ever had:
Your word is truth. (John 17:17)
In other words, all true thinking starts with what God says.
And if we think about it, this makes perfect sense because any alternative just sounds, well…ridiculous. Just think about it. Try saying the following sentence out loud and replace “God” with something else:
“All true thinking starts with what _____________ says.”
Does anything else sound right to you? Can you imagine anyone inserting their name into the blank, claiming that they are the source of all truth? You’d think they were out of their minds!
But that’s exactly what we’re saying every single day when we don’t submit all thinking to God’s word.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
Did you know that’s the same thing Adam and Eve said in the Garden? Satan tempted them into eating the fruit by telling them,
For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5)
In other words, they could do without God and decide good from evil for themselves, creating their own rules, their own reality, and their own truth. And they sunk their teeth right into it…literally!
It’s amazing how our basic problem hasn’t changed since then. Humanity is still captive to the lie that we can determine truth for ourselves.
Taking God at his word
As the Son of God in human flesh Jesus became the “second Adam,” living by and trusting his Father’s word 100%. If we want to renew our minds so that we can think like Jesus, then we need to start there, too.
Some people scoff at Christians, saying that living by the Bible means we’re not thinking for ourselves. But that just isn’t true.
In fact, living according to God’s word means being very careful and intentional thinkers, because we now have an unchanging true standard against which to measure everything.
Only two starting points for all thinking
Being a Christian isn’t a matter of thinking vs. not-thinking. It’s a matter of where our thinking starts from.
Ultimately, there are only two places where thinking can start: either believing truth begins with God or truth begins with us. Either God’s truth is true, or mine is. These are our only two options.
Learning to think like Jesus, then, begins with trusting that God is the starting point for all true knowledge. That’s why Solomon in his wisdom declared, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).
Start where Jesus starts
It’s a risky thing to surrender your mind to God and his word. The world will tell you that it’s intellectual suicide.
You might think that “surrendering your mind”to God’s word sounds like brainwashing – the way people get sucked into cults. It’s not. Because we aren’t surrendering our minds to other people, as in cults, but to the one true God.
As the Son of God, Jesus was the most brilliant man to ever live. When he walked the earth, he never took a blind leap of faith in anything. Nor does he ask us to.
Rather, he based every thought, and therefore every action, on what he knew to be true, namely “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
If you want your life to be transformed, then you must be willing to surrender your mind to the rock-solid foundation of God’s true word. When you do, God will begin to renew your mind so that you will begin to think like Jesus.
How you can respond
Have you made a conscious step to fully trust God’s word? If you’ve trusted Jesus Christ as the saviour of your life, then isn’t it only reasonable to trust him to save your mind as well?
But doing so means willingly surrendering your thoughts, your intellect, and your whole mind to his true word.
Say a prayer of surrender
“Lord Jesus, I want to think the way that you do. I want to see God, the world, and my life the way that you see them. And in seeing them the way you do. I want my life to be transformed to become like your life. I trust you as the living Word of God, and I trust the Bible as your words to me. Now please teach me to make your true word the starting place for every thought I have.
Let God’s word re-shape your thinking
Here are a few verses to help you to begin on your journey to think like Jesus by making God’s word the starting place for every thought you have.
[Jesus prayed to the Father], “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. (Psalm 119:1)
Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word the comes from the mouth of God. (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4)
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. (Psalm 19:7-8)
Have you read the rest of the series? First post in series (1 of 3): How to Live Like Jesus
Originally published Aug 13, 2018, updated Jul 6, 2021.
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